Nick Barrucci of Dynamite Entertainment has a charitable message he is prepared to back. He writes,
My earliest memories are of going to Fat Jack's when I was 12 or 13 years old. My oldest memory of meeting Mike was, at around 13 years old, and going to his store and wanting a What If? Daredevil comic on the wall. I think it was #28, and had a Frank Miller cover, and I had to have it. It was listed at $5. A LOT of money for me back then. I had about $3.80 on me (I think I had that much). Mike saw how badly I wanted it, and sold it to me for $3.80 (or however much money I had).
My earliest memory of William Messner-Loebs that I have is of his Journey comic at Aardvark-Vanaheim, which lead to my enjoying his cross-over with Jim Valentino's Normalman at the time. And got me to buy Jim's Normalman run. If you haven't read it, find it, it's a fun run of comics.
Mike started as a sub-distributor of Seagate Comics (Phil Sueling), and then when Steve (Geppi) started Diamond Comics, I think Mike was his #4 account, and sub-distributed for Diamond Comics in the Philly and South-Jersey area. When I was 13'ish (maybe 14), I started selling at comic conventions to raise money for school costs, and I wanted to help my family. Mike started selling to me wholesale to sell at conventions, and to my friends at school. Eventually, when I was 16 or so, I ended up working for Mike and breaking down boxes and packing books for other retailers on Tuesday and Thursday nights. Back then, there were two shipments of books. Books for Wednesday in stores, and books for Friday. Wednesday were mostly DC, Marvel and other mainstream books. Friday's were Eclipse and higher priced books. I remember Miracleman #1 having a 10% damage that shot the value up big time, and having to take damaged copies since Mike wanted the retailers he sub-distributed to have the best copies. This also gave me the opportunity to have the books ready for going to shows on Saturday and Sunday. I also got to meet Matt Wagner, Paris Cullins, Bill Willingham and other creators who shopped at Fat Jack's.
As William Messner-Loebs moved on, I started following him, and I really enjoyed Johnny Quest series. Fun stories and beautiful art throughout. Many people who know me know that I love the Flash, particularly Barry Allen/Flash. I always loved Wally as Kid-Flash, and thought George Perez did a great job with him in the Teen Titans. Even with Butch Guice's beautiful art, I couldn't get into the Flash when Barry died and the torch was passed on to Wally, even with the fantastic art of Butch Guice (one of the best artists in the industry, hands down). But I read the comics because they were The Flash. I was ready to give up on the series, and then Messner-Loebs took over. There was magic that he ended up putting in the books that I loved. Now, I could see Wally graduating from being Kid-Flash, to The Flash. This laid the foundation for other great writers who followed from Mark Waid to Geoff Johns and beyond.
Mike is one of the nicest guys I know and things were slow for a while and fell behind. He and his employees, whom he treats like family, are getting back on their feet, and asking that you help get him there faster.
William Messner-Loebs has left a great mark on the industry. He had a Go Fund Me in April, and needs more help now. This is his time of need. We should all help him.
Here is what I am going to do. While I can't help them get to their goals, I will help where I can. I am going to match all donations to Fat Jack's between now and Monday up to $2,000. I'm going to match all donations to William Messner-Loebs between now and Monday up to $500. I am not going to take any of Messner-Loebs thresholds except the $3.00 digital. Let the higher thresholds go to other fans who can support and earn them. I'm not doing it for the items being given, I'm doing this to help them.
To raise the money, I'm selling my X-Men #1 and a few other comics.
The industry can't afford to lose stores, and there's a special place in my heart for Mike and his employees.
William Messner-Loebs should be helped as he's done a lot for the industry.
Help me donate the entirety of the $2,500. I'm happy to sell some comics to bring some help to two people who helped the industry. And if you go beyond the $2,500 combined, you'll be helping out more so on two individuals who need it.